Joseph Mallord William Turner

Verses (Inscriptions by Turner)

1808

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Ink and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 185 × 108 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D40627

Catalogue entry

Rosalind Mallord Turner’s reading for the 1990 Tate exhibition is followed here:
[in ink]?Josephine] was as happy as happy could be
[in pencil, illegible]
[in ink] Till love the sly rogue
He crave for admittance disgui[se]dly poor
For pity’s kind sake pray open the door
Ah simple maid don’t believe the lad[’s] tale
His words [sighs inserted] are deceitfull & cool as the gale
[in pencil] Delighted he the ... carest
[in ink]The ungratefull intruder plac’d a thorn in her breast
Then as fickle as false as base as unkind
He left her, he left her and sorrow behind
[in pencil] Conten[te]d had lived but love at last found
Disgui[se]ly poor as the rain it does pour
For pitys soft kisses open the door
[in ink] O Silver Thames far famed Augusta’s Pride
On thy broad st[r]eam see trades fair vessel glide
   Thy honest ruler ride inserted]
Far in the flat Horizon trace the extended sail
That commerce sends to brave the Winter Gale
While ... scarce seen thy numerous spires
In honour reard & as the smoke aspire
For another, more polished version of the lines to ‘Silver Thames’ see the Greenwich sketchbook (Tate D06725; Turner Bequest CII 3).

David Blayney Brown
July 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like